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Article Review: "How to Keep Your Manuscript Safe" by Peggy DeKay

Writer’s Digest produces books for writers and aspiring writers without end in sight. Often, they are compendiums of articles over a spectrum of a chosen topic with professional writers’ contributions. This is the format for the current book, Writer’s Digest Guide to Self-Publishing 2015 .

I’d like to offer a brief overview of each article and note on each author over the next several weeks then sum up the entire book.

The book is divided into three main subject areas: 1) Production 2) Management and 3) Promotion. Other sections include author interviews, listings (of professional services to the self-publishing author), resources such as conferences and book fairs, and an index.

The present article, “Keeping Your Manuscript Safe” is part of the “Management” section and deals electronic backup programs as a means of preserving manuscripts. Author DeKay introduces the subject with several real-life and fictional tales of authors back in day of typewritten manuscripts (remember those?) who lost their only copy through one form of mishap or another. Some, like James Michener, eventually recovered it. In most cases, though, the only copy of the author’s product or blood, sweat and tears was lost forever in a pond or a bar or fill-in-the-blank.

“So what is a writer to do to make sure his or her manuscript is safe from harm?” DeKay asks the reader. “I think the first thing is to seriously look at your body of work and make the determination: This is my livelihood. I have hours, week, months and years of my life invested in these documents. It is my responsibility to keep them safe.”

She then discusses the pros and cons of various fee-based and free back-up systems (Dropbox, Norton Ghost, Carbonite, etc.). She weighs usefulness, ease of use and cost. Does the system include items that authors might not need?

While the author obviously has her own favorites and it’s never a good idea to buy something based only one person’s advice, this article provides (IMHO) a good starting point when looking for back-up systems.

According the author blurb, Peggy DeKay is an author, blogger and book coach. Her book is called, Self-Publishing for Virgins . Boy, that cuts out a lot of people.


Title: “How to Keep You Manuscript Safe”

Author: Peggy DeKay

Writer’s Digest Guide to Self-Publishing 2015

Section: Management



Other Self-Publishing articles:

Book Cover, Cover Text and Exterior

Record Keeping 101


©2015 Denise Longrie

Image Credit » by AlexVan

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arthurchappell wrote on February 26, 2015, 2:07 PM

I lost some of my work in the presidential agent is now easier to save our work and cheaper than page by page photocopying

msiduri wrote on February 26, 2015, 9:36 PM

Thanks for your kind words. Self-publishing has become quite the rage in many circles. Why, I've even done it myself. It's a bit of work, but if done right, one can do it with spending a lot of money and without looking like an idiot, two of my objectives. I've got more that I'll post about the book. I hope it helps make self-publishing easier for someone who's interested in it.

msiduri wrote on February 26, 2015, 9:39 PM

Last year, I got a nasty virus and had to roll back my hard drive a month. I thought my novel was saved to the cloud. I wasn't. I lost a month's worth of work. I was really, really bummed.

msiduri wrote on February 27, 2015, 6:41 AM

How interesting. I've been operating on the assumption that that was more the exception than the rule, i.e., the "Fifty Shades of Gray" sort of thing. I haven't read the book, but my understanding is that it's poorly written and edited, which didn't stop people from reading and buying it. So, I will pay more attention to marketing my book(s). Thanks.